Michael Schumacher still refuses to explain 2006 Rascasse controversy

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher caused a furore by parking his car during qualifying in 2006
Michael Schumacher caused a furore by parking his car during qualifying in 2006

Michael Schumacher makes his first racing appearance at Monaco this weekend since the notorious controversy he caused there in 2006.

Schumacher tried to hold on to pole position in qualifying that year by parking his car at the exit of Rascasse corner, preventing other drivers from improving their time. The stewards saw through the ruse and sent him to the back of the grid.

He has never explained his actions and became hostile when asked for an explanation by the media at Monaco today.

According to Adam Cooper Schumacher turned on the press when asked if the incident was a low point in his career:

You made it ?ǣ some of you guys. I mean, let?s look forward and not backwards. […]

I mean you can keep trying absolutely, but we?re not talking about 2006 any more. There?s enough said I don?t feel that I need to go any deeper into it??
Michael Schumacher

Schumacher may not feel the need to explain himself. But his refusal to do so shows his utter contempt for press and fans alike who recognised his move for the blatant act of cheating it was. As the stewards said at the time:

The stewards can find no justifiable reason for the driver to have braked with such undue, excessive and unusual pressure at this part of the circuit, and are therefore left with no alternatives but to conclude that the driver deliberately stopped his car on the circuit in the last few minutes of qualifying, at a time at which he had thus far set the fastest lap time.

As long as Schumacher persists in his denial he will continue to face uncomfortable questions from the media. Weighed against that, would an admission of guilt be that hard to swallow?

Read more: Monaco 2006: Stewards slam Schumacher

Image (C) Ferrari spa

176 comments on “Michael Schumacher still refuses to explain 2006 Rascasse controversy”

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  1. F1withMySon
    12th May 2010, 18:22

    Ha! He deserves this grilling by the media, and he SHOULD be ashamed of his cheating. Instead, he’s acting petulant?! Terrible sportsmanship!

    I still think that if it were anybody else who did this, the stewards would have been much, much harder on them then the small penalty Michael received that year.

    1. I think being thrown to the back of the grid was fair, and hardly a small penalty for someone who was challenging for pole.

      1. Ned Flanders
        12th May 2010, 18:41

        It certainly wouldn’t have fair had any of those marshals on the circuit been hit.

        Actually, that’s made me consider something about this incident which I’ve never heard mentioned before. Fernando Alonso barely slowed down when he passed those marshals, even though they were just off the racing line and there were yellow flags to warn him? He might easily have received a similar punishment himself.

        Don’t forget this is the same Alonso who has completely ignored yellow flags on at least two occasions before: at Interlagos 2003 (to his own detriment), and again at Suzuka 2009

        1. @ned

          Its a good point you make, and its one that affects my job. I am a trackday marshal and do this for a living with everything from Pro Racer to complete novice drivers and motorcycle riders. When people don’t slow down under yellow flags they are potentially putting our lives and the lives of other drivers/riders and potentially spectators at risk. I think something like alonso not slowing down should serve a greater penalty, or at least some kind of penalty for it. Although i know a driver also wants to lose no time in a race situation by slowing down maybe more than someone else, its dangerous. You’d have thought in this day and age they should be able to put a Limiter on every car so when something like this happens everone who drives through that “zone” would automatically slow down.

          It gets to me cause i have narrowly avoided injury a few times recently, nearly been wiped out by a woman spinning a lotus elise right towards me and the driver+passenger of a recently expired golf under waved yellows, missing me by about a foot…. and whilst going to pick up a motorcycle from the edge of the track i literally had to jump over another bike sliding towards me at fairly high speed under waved yellows. Dont get me wrong, its exciting and i love it, but sometimes it just makes you think.

        2. Alonso did slow down for the yellow flags (see FIA transcript from post-qualifying press conference).

          At Suzuka 2009 qualifying, 5 drivers (Alonso, Barrichello, Buemi, Button, Sutil) got grid penalties for failing to observe the yellow flag.

      2. Sideshow bob
        12th May 2010, 23:54

        The man has a massive killer instinct, he knew he was getting beat by Alonso, and he was running out of options – so, in all likelihood, he made a desperate move on the spot. It’s the Schumacher way to try everything you can and then some.

        I don’t think we need to try to make him out as some kind of immoral scoundrel. He has extraordinary qualities and some less savory ones. Everyone has positives and negatives. It’s evident that he’s gone a little too far at least a couple times. But he was punished. That’s all there is to it. I’m certainly not interested in seeing the man badgered about it.

        Time for racing!

        1. well said , Bob. I’ts one of those things he may have done on the spur of the moment , driven by his will to win , or maybe something just went wrong , but for the press to bring that up after 4 years shows just what kind of snivelling rats they are – but I understand that’s their job.

        2. I totally agree bob. Schumacher’s actions in Monaco qualifying in 2006 were deplorable, and I dont intend to dispute that. But at the same time, he was punished for it (whether or not you think the punishment was severe enough), and I dont think there is any chance that he will tell the media “Yes, I cheated. I am terribly sorry.”

          I know that we have become accustomed to public remorse in light of some of lewis hamilton and others’ transgressions, but I certainly dont see that coming from schumacher, and I dont think it would do any good if he did now. I dont think we should excuse him for it per se, but I do think it is time to move on.

        3. Schumacher is utterly without shame or integrity.

          I think it’s a damning indictment of today’s society that anyone would seek to defend his cheating over the years and now his absolute contempt to the press and the fans.

          1. People don’t mind good people, tolerate great people but hate brilliant people. God knows why. We’re all born blank, what we become is a matter of choice, some losing it so far they say things like if you pay me I’ll be a better person, as if to say I’d be doing you a favour / know I’ve the power to damage lives…

    2. That’s Michael Schumacher for you. His desire to win is his nature, and it sometimes gets the better of him. Clarkson came up with a good analogy to describe this attitude, although he was talking about Schumacher-Hill incident.

      It’s like playing chess with a kid. If it looks like he’s winning, like he’s going to beat you, you just wait until he’s not looking and nick his queen. It’s that kind of “I’m not going to let you beat me because I’m just better than you”.

      Of course if you get caught nicking kid’s queen you will be ashamed, and you probably will want everyone to just forget about it ;)

    3. It was Ferrari in Monaco. There was no way Ferrari and Schumacher were going to get slapped with a big(though rightful) penalty.

      It sucks, but that’s how forumla 1 works.

      1. I think being sent from pole to the back of the grid at Monaco is a pretty harsh penalty…
        What else do you want? Ban him for the rest of the season, just for being Michael Schumacher???

      2. They should have thrown him in jail, thrown away the key…what punishment should he have got for goodness sakes?

        1. I think that punishment would just about be adequate David A…. Maybe take his shoes off him too.

          1. To reiterate what Xanathos said, you’re only saying this this should happen for being Michael Schumacher.

    4. I think the point is that he was punished for it in 2006. It’s over. If you want to bring up cheating, let’s talk about Lewis and his bold face lie in Australia last year.

  2. I remember Martin Brundle (or was it Murray Walker?) mentioning many moons ago (well before this), that one team; having already secured a 1-2 on the grid (or at least pole), with not much time left on the clock, had sent one (or both!) of their cars out topped up with oil to ensure that enough oil was spilled on the track to result in the session being stopped/finished prematurely thus ensuring their good grid position. Can anyone shed any light on this?

    1. Sush Meerkat
      12th May 2010, 19:00

      Sounds like a Prost style thing to do to me.

    2. i don’t know about that one, but i seem to remember senna crashing at lycee hairpin at magny cours (the last corner) as he set his pole lap – everyone applauded the genius of the move, as he gained time by not making the corner, but i think he also stopped the session and ruined everyone else’s flying laps at the time.

  3. That’s the Schumacher I know…

  4. What else can he do?

    He keeps his mouth shut, reporters will keep grilling him.

    He admits his mistake and shows guilt, the media will harp on how he has always been a cheat and he will do something similar soon.

    Either ways, the media won’t shut up.

    Instead, he is doing the right thing by saying, “It was in the past, let it go”. Media should listen to him for once.

    1. He admits his mistake and shows guilt, the media will harp on how he has always been a cheat and he will do something similar soon.

      I don’t agree – remember when Hamilton made his apology at Sepang last year following the Melbourne controversy? That took the wind out of the story.

      This kind of response will only invite more questions.

      1. Hmm, true. The media did shut up after Hamilton’s apology.

        But, I think in Schumacher’s case, it is going to be “too little, too late” (16 years late to be precise).

        Hamilton did just 1 mistake and immediately apologized.

        Schumacher’s first mistake (1994 Adelaide) resulted in him winning the WDC!! No way, he was going to dilute the success by apologizing straightaway.

        Then came 1997 Jerez, Austria 2002, 2006 Rascasse.

        Lets face it, he made so many mistakes that the media stopped talking only when he retired in 2006. And you would’ve thought perhaps the matter had died its death, but NO!!!

        The media just love to hate him. One small apology is not going to change the media’s attitude towards him.

        Perhaps, if he were to write a book telling how he genuinely felt sorry, the media will forgive him. But I think not.

      2. He could apologize but I think it’s too late for that now. It will just infuriate those who forgot about this particular stunt but still seethe that he got away with so much in his day. Anyway, he has too much to lose and little to gain.

        An admission would permanently stain his legacy, possibly far more than getting trounced by Rosberg this year. A pre-meditated, calculated corruption of the competition in an official session is at the top of scales of ruthlessness. That is in the realm of Piquet’s delict in Singapore. Frankly it was worse in a way because Schumacher’s ploy was in his own interest in that session.

        Also, the whole issue goes to whether Schumacher’s apparent calm is the result of superior mindfulness and discipline, or epic arrogance. People either love him or hate him, and explain his behavior, depending on which they believe. You hear people say he can detect octane changes in gas or the barometric pressure or whatever, because he is the shaolin monk of driving. But plenty think he is a talented driver but who prospered mainly without major competition and who ruthlessly cheated on the occaisions when he was confronted with actual talent in the form of Villeneuve, Hill, and Alonso, and made sure the team did all but put sugar in his teammates’ fuel. He wants to keep people believing he is quasi supernatural. Its the key to his legacy. So he won’t talk.

        1. I think you’ve nailed it here.

        2. Was going to have an opinion but DaveW’s post pretty much got it.

          I would still maintain he was more naturally talented than Hill an Villeneurve an beat them in slower cars.

        3. F1withMySon
          12th May 2010, 19:39

          Very well said.

        4. I am not sure about Schumacher being to arrogant or disrespectfull to the press. I think it is more to with about Schumi having to create this image of himself for his self to believe in how good he is as a means of being as competetive as he can be.

        5. Schumacher, he is in class of his own.

          Its funny how people constantly praise a guy that has no sportmanship whatsoever as one of the greatest racing drivers.

          1. THE greatest. Not one of the greatest.

      3. Totally disagree – the media bang on about liegate constantly. Many times there have been articles about Lewis, especially when things are not going well for him, and they bring up all the “controversies” in his career. So I don’t think you are right at all.

        The “fans” also revisit this again and again, using it as an excuse to call him and his team a cheat. I rarely agree with the media, so in this instance, I agree with sumedh – it seems unnecessary and churlish to go on about something that happened in 2006.

        This is another instance of how Teflonso gets away with things more than any other driver – funny how reporters don’t keep banging on about how come he didn’t know what was going in Singapore 2008?

        1. On the Schumacher point, I agree, but my attacking Alonso you are doing the exact same thing!!

          1. Lewey agrees – it’s in the past, look forward.


        2. Yep S Hughes, I agree- the mudslinging from so-called “fans” against Michael, Lewis, or whoever needs to stop, so we can look to what will hopefully be a great race this weekend (culminating in a Ferrari victory of course :P ).

      4. For the love of good reporting. You are a smart writer and seem to be a good person, but maybe you are so close to your personal issue with MSC that you cannot see that from the very beginning the article is about you and not about MSC. Get over it. In case you do actually read this here is an example of an unbiased title: “Schumacher balks on 2006 Rascasse incident”

        Many of the greatest drivers that many of you fanboys on here rave about have done some ridiculous things to win. Schumacher is no different except that he’s the only one with 7 championships and therefore has the biggest bullseye on his back. Whenever this guy does anything everyone makes it the biggest news story and for no real good reason. He was punished then and now its post-retirement Michael time. If douc$@! reporters want to keep harping on him, and you post a clearly biased title to their harassment, the only thing they will succeed in is wearing him down faster so that he retires and then they won’t have anything nearly as interesting to report on. He is their most important figure; he is their lifeblood and not the other way around. Once again, get over it (this is directed at all the haters and all the fans of Michael).

      5. I think its the obsession of the media to hear an apology. The whole world knows it was cheating and he did get a penalty for it, dont see why media needs to bring it up. Completely off topic and nothing new for the enjoyment of fans. And I disagree with Keith saying that Schumacher’s refusal to comment is contempt for fans, may be for media, but seriously it was few years back, I for one dont care anymore as long as he doesnt do it again.

      6. Umar Farooq Khawaja
        13th May 2010, 12:03

        Hamilton only “apologised” after he was effectively caught with his pants down, on camera. His apology was motivated by the anticipated losses in PR money. Most importantly though, Hamilton’s apology was little more than Dave made me do it.

        I do not think it was all Dave Ryan’s idea, just like I don’t think it was all Piquet or Briatore.

        At the end of the day, this story is little more than beating a dead horse at best and trying to taint an impressive record by alleging cheating at worst. Not your proudest moment.

      7. if he admits this, they’ll force out of him the villeneuve-Shui incident and also the Hill-Shui incident. They probably won’t let it lie untill they have him admit to every large “cheat” he’s ever done.

        Personally i think he is a massive cheat, and think he would never have won 7 WDC if Senna was still alive. (And thats Ayrton, not the Also ran Bruno)

        1. Sigh, its easy to say what could have been, or should hsve been, but you can only beat what is put in front of you. Facts are facts.

          Michael Schumacher- 7 time champion- FACT.

        2. Senna isn’t alive and Schumi won 7 WDC’s. Get over it. Schumi is better than any Brit driver that ever lived. And the British press hate him for that. Cannot wait until he wins his next WDC!!

          1. its ridiculous to claim that Senna would of been better than Micheal if he had lived, nobody can know what Senna would of done, he was a great man and a great driver, and its equally stupid to argue that Micheal is a better driver than ANY brit driver, if micheal tried to drive BRM or a lotus etc of the 60s against the likes Hill(graham), Clark, Stewart and he wouldnt stand a chance, likewise i doubt Hill(graham), Clark, Stewart would stand a chance against Micheal in a modern Car. the fact still remains Micheal drove into Hill on purpose in 94, on purpose into Villeneuve in 97 etc etc etc, micheal for all his championships is a cheater, cheating sportsmen by virtue of cheating rule themselves out from being Great simple as. Great Sportsmen dont cheat, they can win without cheating.

          2. Nutritional
            12th June 2010, 23:20

            There have been five drivers who can be classed best of the best:


            The only driver other driver who may lay stake to a claim on that list is Sterling Moss.

            Beyond that, who gives a bleep where a driver is from? I can tell you right now that the country a driver is from is definitely not the defining factor in his skill as a driver.

            And Parker,
            No matter what you say, Schumacher has 91 wins, 154 podiums, 68 pole positions, and 76 fasters laps. Whether you wish it or not, in reality he didn’t pull a fast one on the rest of the F1 community for 16 years and actually deserves the laurels he has gained.

    2. The only “mistake” he has admitted to was the crash which everyone knows was not a “mistake” but an intentional act contrary to the rules and to good sportsmanship. The stewards have confirmed that it was an intentional violation of the rules by penalizing him. What is this slavish devotion Schumacher fans have that will not allow them to see their idol as a complete human being? Other drivers have made errors and admitted to them, have apologized for them and asked forgiveness from their fans. Schumacher is not much of a man and exhibits a great deal of disrespect for his fans by continuing to lie to them.

  5. I think, another question from that day is why was Alonso not penalized for trying to do a fast lap under yellow flags? All drivers pulled out of their hot laps while Alonso went on to complete his lap and improve on previous best and narrowly miss on pole. I think he should have been also given 5 place penalty that race for dangerous driving under yellow flag conditions.
    Here we go- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqo_WSG4VMg

    1. F1withMySon
      12th May 2010, 18:44

      Weak. Try again.

      1. Why is Ninad’s point weak? Alonso clearly didn’t slow down despite the waving yellow flags. At least try to back up what you say.

        1. As far as I know Alonso didn’t set a personal best sector time when Schumacher was parked up. He was some way ahead of Schumacher’s pole time through the first two sectors, yet behind through S3 – which would suggest that he backed off.

          1. I know i was watching at the time. Fernando did a great time in the first part of the lap to jump Schumi for pole. Then at Rascasse he had to slow down and lost a lot of time.

            I am pretty certain he did slow down, so why should he be punished?

            I hope Schumacher shows a great race here in Monaco to set off the negatives of his last experience here. For me it was the low point of his career and in a way the end of it. Such a sad move, Ferrari just had to cut the ties after the year.

          2. I’d be interested if someone could dig up sector times for this…

        2. I remember Hakkinen going for pole at Monaco and not slowing down when encountering yellow flags. He did acknowledge them with a gesture of some sort, but did not slow down and grabbed pole. I guess the rules apply differently depending on who’s doing the offense …

        3. F1withMySon
          12th May 2010, 19:26

          The article is about Schumacher’s cheating and continued unsportsmanlike behavior, not Alonso. Alonso was a victim of the situation, just like every other driver that day.

          Where is Ninad’s evidence that every other driver slowed and Alonso did not? Is it just because the world feed picked up Alonso’s in-car camera and not another driver’s?

          I cannot make out who is ahead of Alonso on the lap, but the gap between Alonso and the car ahead looks consistent to me, before encountering Rascasse and then continuing on the lap after the turn. This indicates that both cars maintained a relative speed to each other.

          Slightly better quality:

          Perhaps the FIA has available all of the running cars’ times for that lap? That would be the only way to prove if a driver did not slow sufficiently.

          1. No way, some people won’t be happy until Nano is tortured and shot. And I thought this thread was about MSC…

          2. Yes Gopher you are right, Keith can you please delete all comments not directly related to the article, obviously people have this idea that they can bring up ideas as they see fit…….

            On second thoughts, considering the incidents involved each other directly, doesn’t make it relevant??

        4. Alonso did slow down. It is in the FIA post-qualifying transcripts.

    2. Ned Flanders
      12th May 2010, 19:24

      Sorry Ninad I didn’t see this comment, I made the exact same comment above but 10 mins later. I’ll copy a bit here:

      Alonso barely slowed down when he passed those marshals, even though they were just off the racing line and there were yellow flags to warn him? He might easily have received a similar punishment himself.

      Don’t forget this is the same Alonso who has completely ignored yellow flags on at least two occasions before: at Interlagos 2003 (to his own detriment), and again at Suzuka 2009

  6. Ned Flanders
    12th May 2010, 18:34

    He’s dug a hole. Now he can’t get out of it. There’s no way he’ll spill the beans any time soon, if ever. Unless we get sneaky…

    I remember Mark Webber’s take on the situation was something along the lines of ‘he’ll only ever admit the truth over a bottle of wine when he’s in his 60’s’. Well I can’t wait that long. If any Mercedes engineers are reading could you please spike his water bottle with vodka and then ask him about it during the race.

    Then hopefully in his drunken daze he’ll express guilt and remorse for the incident for us all to hear over the team radio, and hopefully a few other secrets too. Although he’d probably crash the car before long

    1. If James Hunt survived Spa on LSD, I’m sure Schumi could survive Monaco drunk. Maybe…? :-/

  7. give him a break media! that was the past. give Shumi a fresh start. do they really not have any better questions to ask him?

    1. F1withMySon
      12th May 2010, 18:43

      His act of cheating was dangerous, and although it was less violent than Piquet purposely crashing his car, the result was very similar – a car blocking the track on purpose. Schumacher deserves to hear the hard questions. And his impatient, frustrated attitude that he is showing is disrespectful to the fans and to the sport.

      1. Richard Merk
        12th May 2010, 21:59

        Saying this is very similar to the piquet scandal is a little dramatic. I understand there are similarities, but you can also argue that schumachers victim alonso in this matter did the exact same thing to hamilton in Hungary 2007. Purposely waiting in the pit box so that hamilton couldn’t get one last flyer.

        Alonso was very upset that schumacher did this to him in Monaco… Any yet he does it himself the year after to hamilton… Says a lot about his character.

        1. Yes, it is different than the Piquet incident because Piquet finally admitted what he did and showed some remorse. Schumacher is unrepentant and can therefore be expected to cheat again and endanger drivers again. This is not to mention purposely running championship rivals off the road. Oh. I guess I did mention that.

          1. If he was truly remorseful, he wouldn’t have waited until he was sacked to tell the world what he did.

      2. He heard the hard questions F1withYourSon. This is 4 years later. Check your baggage before you log on and post your anger. You’re mad at your dad, not at Michael. We all want you to get better but we need you to see someone who is qualified.

    2. Ned Flanders
      12th May 2010, 18:44

      But that’s a bit like catching a murder who’s been on the run for 4 years, and then releasing him because it was ‘in the past’ and he deserved ‘a fresh start’…. not that I’m comparing his Schumacher to a murderer of course…

      1. woah, comparing it to a murder is a bit extreme!

    3. No, they don’t and I’ll give you two reasons why.

      First, it’s because Schumacher answers questions like a politician. He does everything he can to give as little away as possible. It’s a defensive tactic, of course, and he’s not the only driver to use it.

      So, knowing that Schumacher isn’t going to be drawn into saying anything interesting about updates on the car, his relationship with his team mate, his rivals and so on, the best way to talk to him and get a good story from it is to ask him a question where, whatever his answer, there’ll be a story to write. This is such a story.

      They’re also right to keep pressing him on it for the obvious reason: he’s never come clean about it, everyone wants to know why he did it and if he’ll do it again.

      He’s in the court of public opinion, and “it was in the past” is a weak defence.

      1. Well I think you’ve fallen victim to being hungry for a story there as well Keith –

        ‘he’s never come clean about it’

        Its quite possible that he has…and actually did make a mistake. Now don’t get me wrong, thats not my opinion either, but with such an assumption on his shoulders that he did cheat, he’s damned if he says anything and damned if he doesn’t.

        Hamilton’s incident was nailed on the head because he came out immediately. Schumacher didn’t – and that was his mistake. He can’t change his mind now though

        1. He surely did make a mistake: a mistake of judgement!
          But at the moment he did it, it must have seemed the “only” option to him. After starting the move, he could not back out, and dug himself in even more by finishing it with cutting of the engine.

          He must have trouble admitting even to himself, that he is prone to these kind of misjudgements when under enormous stress, because it is a weakness of him.

      2. the best way to talk to him and get a good story from it is to ask him a question where, whatever his answer, there’ll be a story to write. This is such a story.

        Spoken like a true journalist :-) (and an extremely smart one at that)

        But this is exactly that, a story, and it will remain one whether he apologizes or not. He might as well keep his mouth shut, in that case, since clearly, this story will remain a story till he is alive and racing.

        1. Maybe the guy has too many things to keep under wraps, coming clean with this one will result in other actions being questioned, so he might be best served by indeed going defensive. After all, isn’t it better to remain silent and be thought of as dumb, than to speak out and remove all doubt ?

      3. Umar Farooq Khawaja
        13th May 2010, 12:16

        Not a good story Keith, just “a” story.

        Examples of good stories (many of which you probably have covered here on this blog at some point):

        Is the dip in Massa’s form because of last year’s accident, or just being out-done by a brilliant team-mate, Or a reversal in form like Raikkonen vs. Massa in 2008?

        Is Schumacher’s form improving? Was it a broken chassis that held him back in the first 4 races? Will he be able to rebuild Mercedes like he rebuilt Ferrari?

        Are Petrov, Sutil and Alguersuari diamonds-in-the-rough?

        Was Barichello ever really any good?

        Is Webber another Barichello?

        Will Raikkonen replace Webber at Red Bull next year? Should he?

        Is Chandok a better driver than Senna?

      4. @Keith

        No disrespect mate, but Kimi did have a similar incident, in a Ferrari again, at the same darned corner. Why wouldn’t you cover that? For that matter none of the mdeia does. Perhaps score telemetry (a long shot and pretty much impossible task) of both Michael and Kimi driving through that corner and may be compare speeds, braking and all for better visibility of the incident for all of us.

        Without evidence to boot, all this talk is nothing more than plain speculation.

        Those who say that Lewis came clean, well they are just plain deluded. He was squeezed hard with evidence and was caught lying so he was made to squeal. I’m pretty sure that Whitmarsh was also in on it, just as in Spygate. That man for sure has nine lives!

        1. Kimi did have a similar incident, in a Ferrari again, at the same darned corner. Why wouldn’t you cover that?

          Schumacher parked a healthy car deliberately.

          Raikkonen had already broken the suspension on his car when he got to the corner and so could not get around it:

          1. Yes… Kimi did have some issues with the car… but my understanding was that Ferrari was experimenting with their car during those years, moving away from a set design philosophy… They changed a lot of design parameters of the car during those years… I do not know how much whatever they did affected the handling of the cars over tighter corners… Fact is, Ferrari’s weren’t so good in tighter corners and slow stuff over those years… Which is where telemetry would have come in to the picture and clarified a lot of things… What is funny is Kimi also stumbles at the same corner…

  8. ThePink Bengal
    12th May 2010, 18:42

    I know exactly why he did it.
    It’s because he’s a competitive mofo like no other who does (or did) anything and everything to win.
    And to be honest, at the highest level in any sport, you have to be prepared to do just that.

    Or, maybe he just had a brain fart.

    1. Umar Farooq Khawaja
      13th May 2010, 12:17

      Could not agree more.

  9. Pengo (Blake Merriam)
    12th May 2010, 18:51

    Ofcourse if he admits to one of his many questionable discretions won’t it invite more questions about the others?

  10. why did he do it? To beat Senna’s record in Monaco. That was probably more important to him than the championship at the time.

  11. I think Schumacher’s only regret is that he didn’t crash the car into the wall.

  12. I still find it difficult to believe that Schumacher was only given a grid penalty for this act of deliberate and dangerous cheating. Only a few races previously, a driver had had his superlicence revoked for causing an accidental collision on the first lap of a Grand Prix. Consistency?

    1. Ned Flanders
      12th May 2010, 19:26

      I see what you mean… but you can’t seriously be comapring Michael Schumacher and Yuji Ide, can you?!

    2. I see what you mean, Schumacher should’ve been handed life imprisonment for making a driving error at La Rascasse.

      1. That meant to say “parking at La Rascasse”.

        So to repeat:

        I see what you mean, Schumacher should’ve been handed life imprisonment for parking at La Rascasse.

  13. Who cares?

    We all know he did it. He got punished for it. End of story.

    It’s a lose/lose situation for Schumacher. He can continue to stonewall and get negative press for it. Or, he can answer the question. If he says he didn’t do it, we all know he’s not being truthful. If he says he did it, then he gets crucified for admitting it.

    I don’t really see a lot of incentive for Schumacher to talk about it.

    1. If he says he did it, then he gets crucified for admitting it.

      Again, I think that’s forgetting the example of Hamilton at Sepang last year (see earlier comment).

      1. bananarama
        13th May 2010, 0:04

        I can already hear the BBC comments, ‘Schumacher set a good laptime there, he is in 3rd now .. lets hope he doesn’t crash in some corner just to secure his position’.

        F1 comes back to Monaco, many drivers should be able to win this race, Schumacher just beat his teammate but who knows if he can do it again here, possible weather changes, new challenges, the possibility for him to get even with Senna .. so many things to talk about! But what do people ask him about? That.

        I dislike cheating as much as the next guy, but we will never know for sure if it was an accident and if it wasn’t, the only thing that Schumacher should be regretting is that he didn’t just deliberately crash his car a bit in that corner. Everyone would have thought he was pushing very hard to set a good laptime, barely anybody would have doubted it. Its in the past, we should really get over it.

      2. Keith, I have to disagree with you here(perhaps for the first time!), as Hamilton was not exactly let off the hook after his apology for the melbourne incident last year. He continued to be slammed by the media for the incident throughout last year, and many said that his apology was not convincing/made it worse, etc. I do feel that apologizing was the right thing for Lewis to do, but I dont think that he was instantly absolved of the matter upon doing so (as you have implied).

    2. We all know he did it. He got punished for it. No way, the story is over. Why did he do it? And no matter what he says, keep drilling and reminding him of what he did! GO JOURNALISTS!!

      1. And let the same journalists keep reminding every other driver of the bad stuff they’ve done? It will get very tiresome in the long run.

  14. Weasel Chops
    12th May 2010, 19:28

    To be honest, I’m over it.

  15. thesternowl
    12th May 2010, 19:32

    John M: Your comment is the best post on this topic.

    And seriously, what’s up with all of the contempt for Schumacher here?

    1. F1withMySon
      12th May 2010, 20:10

      Every great drama needs an equally great villain. Formula 1 is a great drama, and I think for a lot of people (certainly for me), Michael Schumacher was a great villain–he was smart, cunning and dangerous. He crushed dreams, wrinkled suspension arms, and sent rookies back to the paddock in tears. I loved to hate him.

  16. At the time it was out of place, but Michael paid the price for his mistake by starting not from Pole but from the back of the grid. from what i can remember that made for a very interesting race seeing him carve his way through the field.
    i can’t think of any driver who hasn’t done something in Qualifying or in the Race that he has not paid for by being tagged a cheat, just look at Hamilton last year Melbourne, nothing is said about that, or the late Senna crashing into Prost to keep the Championship. how some people choose to forget somethings, but in turn keep bringing up issues from the past.

    i say keep the past in the past, nothings going to change the outcome, just F1 drivers can learn from mistakes in the past that make them better drivers for the future.

    1. Thing is, it still makes me sick to watch it.

  17. Did Senna,Prost,G Villeneuve, Ascari, Fangio and all the rest ever apologize? Let it go. 16 years on and most of the comments are from people who were still at junior school at the time. Big bad Michael is out to get you.If you turn him upside down and look at his bum he’s got 666 tattoed on it.

    1. thesternowl
      12th May 2010, 19:57

      lol…I know…it’s ridiculous

    2. I’m intrigued to know what Villeneuve did which he should have apologised for?

      1. Villenueve tried to pull out an impossible move on Ronnie Peterson and they came together as a result. Villeneuve went into the air and then into people killing one and a marshal. Officially there was no blame however most felt it was Villeneuve’s fault. He said nothing outside the enquiry. He was my all time favourite driver but here he was wrong and he knew it.

        1. Villeneuve was early in his career, in his second race for Ferrari and it was a racing mistake that cost much more dearly than it should have. The marshall that was killed was trying to move the spectators who should not have been in that particular area because of the danger. Villeneuve always expressed great sorrow for the incident but felt the responsibility belonged to the Fuji organizers as they had allowed spectators into the prohibited area.

          This was a very unfortunate and tragic accident at a time when safety measures were not as advanced. It does not make sense to compare this to a deliberate act of cheating such as Schumacher carried out 4 years ago at Rascasse.

        2. I’ve never seen video of that accident (is there any?) so I can’t really comment.

          1. only post accident. Peterson said afterwards that it was one if not the worst move he had ever seen. it was Japan 1977. It was incredible that Villeneuve was not killed.

    3. But did it stop people from asking them? I am sure a lot of people tried to ask all of them questions about these incidents during their whole careers.

      For Senna it is one of the Highlights of most books about him, as well as for Prost.

      Senna maybe made up for it in part through his initiative to get the GPDA started, right before the Monza race, Schumacher did do a lot for the GPDA to compensate for the darker side of his caracter. Is it enough?

      You are right, they do not have an obligation to answer the questions. But untill the questions are answered they will be asked.

      I think part of the motivation for Schumi can be in ending his career by not being a cheat, helping another team to the top and suppporting Rosberg to lasting stardom (he did like mentoring Massa as well).

  18. 43 comments in less than 2 hours. A journalist dream. Schumi is gold for the press. Whatever character he is portrayed as, he is still a huge story.

    1. That was my point exactly. Its as though they are on his payroll but suck at doing their jobs! They are the “Frado’s” of his family. I wonder if they all end up in Nevada trying to become legitimate! ha ha!

  19. Let sleeping dogs lie…

    Schumacher is arrogant yes… I’ll forgive him: he has the silverware to back it up.

    Alonso (on the other hand) is proud, and devious, and pride comes before a fall… he’s started at Ferrari already… the boy is trouble wherever he goes.

  20. Rob Gallagher
    12th May 2010, 20:30

    I think this is the difference between Hamilton and Schumacher, while both are ruthless Hamilton wont cheat to win (his hand was already forced by Dave Ryan)but Schumcaher has always believed in winning at any cost. Hamilton was apolegetic for what he did, Schumacher is not.

    1. Hamilton is a ridiculous cheat! However, I still hold hope that age will make him wise before the luck of not causing serious injury catches up. If you think that Hamilton is so classy, just keep watching. He’s sure to cause some tragedy sooner than later. The only difference is that I’m truly hopeful that he classes up and only soft cheats which is what all the great drivers do and IF he continues to have speed maybe he can become just that. Hopefully he doesn’t get anybody else fired in the mean time.

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